A number of former NFL players have chosen to produce a public service announcement calling for gun law legislation. The players making the ad included such familiar names to sports fans as Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, LaDamien Tomlinson, and Michael Irvin. This would be funny enough, as we’ll see later in this piece, but then Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, when praising these athletes, referred to them as ‘heroes’.
First, let’s just look a little at one of these ‘heroes’: Michael Irvin. His first move into notoriety was in 1996, when he pleaded no contest to cocaine possession. His punishment was pretty severe, for a football player. He was ordered to do community service, put on probation, and paid a fine. Having learned his lesson, two years later, he inflicted a two inch cut on a teammate, and reached an out of court settlement of damages. In 2000, he was once again arrested on drug charges, but these were dropped. In 2005, he was pulled over for speeding; when the police searched his car, they found drug paraphernalia. Yeah, that’s the kind of guy who should be providing us with public policy advice.
Now, let’s go over the list of NFL players who have been charged with gun or domestic abuse(I’m leaving out the drunkenness or drug arrests for space reasons) in recent years:
*2013 – Andre Smith – Charged with carrying a loaded gun into an airport
*2013 – Chris Rainey – Charged with battery on his girlfriend
*2013 – Robert Sands – Domestic violence
*2012 – Bryan Thomas – Aggravated assault on his wife
*2012 – Chad Johnson – Domestic violence
*2012 – Dez Bryant – Family violence
*2012 – Elvis Dumervil – Aggravated assault with a firearm
*2012 – Kiante Tripp – Felony burglary, possession of a firearm
*2012 – Jarriel King – Forcible sex
There were an additional 50 or so ‘heroes’ who were charged with assault, drugs, or alcohol abuse during this same period. Also, please note that these are only the players who were charged; so the ‘hero’ who killed his baby mama and then killed himself didn’t make the list.
The list also does not include the Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, who was involved in a double murder, and received a year’s probation. When questioned about this prior to the Super Bowl, Lewis responded, “If you really knew how God works, he don’t use people who commit anything like that for his glory.” Anyone who can make sense out of this statement, please do enlighten the rest of us.
Now, I know NFL players might be confused why this would be called irony. After all, the highest paid NFL announcer tells us every Sunday such tidbits as: ‘Here’s some irony. Last week, the Giants scored 20 points; this week, they scored 20 points in the first half.’ That’s what is known as a coincidence. An irony is when some players who should be taking the thugs out of their own workforce are trying to impede freedoms for the rest of us.